The population of Nauru in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 12,000, which placed it as number 191 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In that year approximately 2% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 40% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 101 males for every 100 females in the country in 2003. According to the UN, the annual population growth rate for 2000–2005 is2.29%, with the projected population for the year 2015 at 17,000. The population density in 2002 was 545 per sq km (1,412 per sq mi). Most Nauruans live around the coastal fringes, in their traditional districts. About half the population consists of immigrant contract laborers, technicians, and teachers. Most Chinese, as well as immigrants from Kiribati and Tuvalu, are settled in communities near the phosphate works.
It was estimated by the Population Reference Bureau that 100% of the population lived in urban areas in 2001. The Yaren District, which functions as the capital city, had a 2002 population of 11,000. According to the United Nations, the urban population growth rate for 2000–2005 was 1.5%.